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Entries in colic (5)

Wednesday
Jun052013

Second Time’s The Charm

 

Mother's Day Brunch 2013Greyson is already 11 weeks and it’s been a while since I’ve posted. By the time my oldest was this age I was dealing with, and had written about so many challenges -- complications from an emergency c-section, a baby with colic, breastfeeding problems, postpartum depression, etc. I had a lot to write about because it was so H.A.R.D. In my case for not writing much lately - no news is good news!

I’m relieved and ecstatic to share that the the past 11 weeks have been amazing and so easy (comparatively speaking...because let’s face it. Raising kids is hard no matter what).

First off, my planned c-section went smoothly and my recovery was fast! I was walking comfortably within a couple weeks and feeling pretty good after a few weeks. And this time around I've had no issues with my milk supply. Phew.  

Now for the fun part. Greyson is a doll! He’s a mild-mannered sweet and happy little guy  - assuming he’s rested and fed. He loves his sleep. I’ll just put it out there... having an “easy” baby is so much fun! I remember longing for this experience. My husband and I keep asking ourselves, “Is Greyson really that easy, or is he just easy to us since we had such a hard time the first time?” Who cares, we’ll take it!!

Not so say we don’t have new challenges...

The challenges that we’re facing are not around a new baby but with helping my 3 year old daughter transition into a world where she has to share “mommy.” She’s the sweetest big sis to her little brother, however she’s expressing her frustrations and need for attention by acting out towards me... It’s mentally and physically exhausting. Every day we work on it.  Anyway, this will make a nice little post of it’s own.

For now, I wanted to share that overall, things are going well. So to all of you who assured me that the second time around wouldn’t be as hard, thank you!!

 

 

Wednesday
Nov092011

What Will/Did You Do Differently With Next Baby?

It seems like so long ago that I wrote about the neomammas and experiences with bring home a baby.

A friend asked me what I wish I would have known before Reese was born and I shared some of my blog posts with her. I came across a post I wrote on what I’ve learned on becoming a Mother and it got me thinking about some of the things I plan to do a little differently this next time around. I am not pregnant but I am very much looking forward to doing it all over again soon.

Accepting help. I will take my parents’ and in-laws’ offer to help out after the baby is born. I didn’t want help with Reese at first but I ended up needing it. Having extra hands to help with the daily house duties and cooking was a tremendous help.

Sleep training. I will work with my baby to help him/her learn to sleep sooner rather than later. Reese was colicky so this was challenging.

Breastfeeding. I was so concerned about keeping Reese on a feeding schedule (every 2-3 hours) and I found it worked better for us when I stopped worrying about it so much and fed her when I thought she was hungry. This ended up being every 2-3 hours and more in the evening.

Postpartum Depression. This is a big one. I will certainly be on the look out for this. I think since I experienced PPD, I will be more aware of the symptoms to avoid having to go through it for so long again.

Is there anything you plan to do differently with your second or third child? [Or at least try to do differently. As we know, kids are all so very different so who knows what will work and what won’t].

Tuesday
Mar012011

When Reality of Motherhood isn’t Sublime: Diagnosed with Postpartum Depression 

 It’s taken me a long time to write this particular blog post, in part, because I didn’t know what, or how to say it, and in part, because it’s so personal. I have decided to share my experience dealing with postpartum depression (PPD) because it’s an important topic. A topic that is sometimes hard to grasp, especially when it involves bringing home a new baby – a time that is supposed to be one of the happiest in a family’s life. Or maybe it’s because society places so much pressure on the idea of the “perfect mother” and anything less than perfect is inadequate and makes you an unfit mother. I feel like there is stigma attached to PPD. I felt awful when I’d get asked, “So how’s everything going?” I wanted to respond, “Really great, loving every moment!” And to people I was not that close with I think I might have lied because I wanted it to be true, but to family and friends I was very open with them about having such a hard time. Anyway, here is my story.

I was aware of postpartum depression (PPD) before having a baby but never did I think it could happen to me. The concept was distant and unfathomable, which is why it took me a while to come to terms with. The reality is that between 13 percent and 15 percent of new mothers experience depression.

After my doctor diagnosed me with PPD, I was a bit embarrassed and somewhat ashamed…upset that I wasn’t handling motherhood the way I had imagined. While most little girls dreamed of their wedding day, I dreamed of bringing home a baby and starting my family. I envisioned being a new mother to be super easy for me…like I could do it with my eyes closed. Boy, was I in for a dose of what was to be my reality for the first couple of months, and then again at four months.

When The Pieces Came Tumbling Down

I wasn’t diagnosed with PPD until Tazzy was about four months old. My doctor said that PPD can happen within the first year of having a baby. I think back and realize now that there were certainly signs of a bad case of the Baby Blues (which impacts up to 80 percent of new moms), leading up to this. I had some really great days and some really bad ones.

During the first month I dealt with a colicky baby that resisted sleep, complications from my c-section, and complications from breastfeeding. I cried A LOT…everyday. I was overwhelmed and felt like the rug had been pulled from under me. I remember crying in my own Mother’s arms, sobbing really, saying, “She [my baby] hates me. She won’t stop crying. It’s not supposed to be this way.” All I wanted was to be happy like the seemingly happy new Moms I’d seen out and about with their newborns fast asleep in the stroller. I was envious of the new Mothers who could tote their new babies around easily. And to top it off, there was this unspoken tension in my house - something that my husband and I have never experienced before. My husband is the most patient person and ultimate problem solver. I could see frustration written all over his face each time his attempts at calming our screaming baby didn’t work. It shattered my heart every time.

It was hard for me to leave the house. I wasn’t emotionally prepared to deal with Taz’s crying in the stroller, in the car seat, pretty much anywhere we went until after a couple months when she was at least comforted in my arms. I knew that my family didn’t necessarily understand this part and thought I needed to get out more but I didn’t budge at their attempt to get me out. I needed to do things on my own time.

During months one and two I focused on only the good days. I had a ton of support from family and friends. It’s how I kept myself from losing my mind. And finally at about month three I started to feel better. I felt relieved and happy.  

When the $hit Really Hit the Fan

Then, coming on four months, I started to feel unmotivated to leave the house again, really tired (which didn’t seem right since Tazzy was sleeping 12 hours at night) and I’d have awful crying spells that would last for hours at a time…and for no reason. There were days I’d feel numb but put on a smile because that is what I felt I needed to do. I guess I felt like if I put on a smile then everything would be better. So FYI…for anyone who saw pictures on Facebook during the early months, I can assure you that the pics were taken on one of the good days.

But I knew something was really wrong about four months in when I was standing in line at my local Walgreens, tears streaming down my face, followed by uncontrolled sobbing as I ran out of the store thinking, “It would be so much easier if I weren’t here.” WTF?@#! I freaked out at this thought and when I got home shared what I was feeling with my husband. He was worried and recommended I call my doctor immediately.

When I finally talked with my doctor I explained that logically I knew everything was great. Really! Tazzy was doing so well -- sleeping 12 hours through the night, which meant I got a good night’s rest, breast feeding was going wonderfully, she was a healthy happy baby, which was a big change from the first couple months of her life and I was starting to feel like myself (on good days) etc.

Within a week of being diagnosed with PPD and starting a very low dosage of Zoloft, I felt pretty much back to my normal self. I’m still taking Zoloft and will continue to take the meds for another couple of months. My doctor assured me that this would not impact my milk supply. I now feel 100% back to normal and am filled with joy every day. I haven’t cried in months (except during a couple movies) :)

Why Don’t New Mom’s Talk About the Not so Good Days?

I can only speak from my own experience and also from what I’ve heard from others who (only after I shared my experience), shared similar experiences. Not only was I somewhat disappointed at myself for not coping with the transition of becoming a new Mom, but on the really bad days I was ashamed at myself for resenting the situation, which made me feel like an unfit parent, because while I didn’t resent my daughter, I did resent the difficult times brought upon me. I felt helpless, lost, and out of control. Why would I want to admit that to anyone including myself?? There were nights I would cry myself to sleep telling my husband, I just don’t think I can do this…” He would hold me in his arms and assure me that we’d get through this. There is no other person on this earth I could have imagined going through this with. I feel so lucky to be married to my definition of the best husband. And finally, I feel so lucky and honored to have Tazzy as my baby girl. I am the proud and doting mother that I imagined I’d always be. But it took time…

Why Didn’t You Tell Me?

Why didn’t anyone tell me?! I have some really close girlfriends who went through the baby blues. When I ask them why they didn’t share, one said, “Because you wouldn’t have understood.” I don’t think it’s a concept one can understand until they are in the moment. Ugh! I still wish I’d had an idea of what could and did happen. Another friend said, “I just didn’t want to burst your bubble. Since I’ve known you, you’ve always wanted babies and I knew you couldn’t wait to be a Mother. And not everyone who has a baby has such a hard time at first…” Okay, I get this but again, I would have liked to know.

I’m not trying to scare anyone who may be expecting soon or plan on having kids. All I’m doing is sharing a little of my story and trying shed light on an important matter that I don’t think gets talked about enough. I’m being very open with family and friends and pretty much anyone who asks, about what it was like for me the first few months. And I can do it with a smile because I’m having the time of my life! My standard line is, “The first few months were really hard for me. It wasn’t as fun as I’d hoped and now things are great and couldn’t be better!” If only I had known some of the things that I know now. But I guess that would have been too easy J I’m loving motherhood more than I could have ever imagined. My husband and I didn’t know we could love anyone like we love our baby girl.

Did you experience baby blues or postpartum depression? Or do you know anyone who did?

Some interesting facts below:

  • Depression is a common problem during and after pregnancy. Approximately 13 percent to 15 percent of pregnant women and new mothers experience depression.
  • Postpartum depression affects Dads too.
  • Celebs including, Brooke Shields, Courteney Cox, Gwyneth Paltrow and Amanda Pete are just a few who have shared their story with the public.
  • Symptoms can appear any time during pregnancy and the first 12 months after childbirth.
  • Symptoms differ for everyone and might include the following.
    • Feelings of anger or irritability
    • Lack of interest in the baby
    • Appetite and sleep disturbance
    • Crying and sadness
    • Feelings of guilt, shame or hopelessness
    • Loss of interest, joy or pleasure in things you used to enjoy
    • Possible thoughts of harming the baby or yourself
Sunday
Sep122010

I found a solution for colic...

Okay, I wish. But I found a great article about it.

If you are experiencing, or have ever had, a "fussy" baby, this post on Babble is a must read! I now have a much different perspective on what I originally thought was Tazzy's "colicky" period. I put quotes around the word colic because looking back, while the first three weeks were hell, things have gotten tremendously better after figuring out she has acid reflux and it wasn't colic. So now I'd say she is just fussy, and every day gets better as I describe here.

The author describes his experience with dealing with his colicky son and how months after it finally ended, he and his wife still feel traumatized. His writing is brutally honest, heartfelt and at times made me laugh out loud. It's rare to get a real glimpse of what really happens behind closed doors. No parents want to admit that their child isn't the perfect angel they'd hoped for, like the cooing smiling ones we see in movies.

He brings up a great point that colic is poorly understood by the medical community. Sad, but true. This is frustrating and leaves parents grasping for solutions. Parents will try anything to get their baby to stop crying especially, if the baby is crying in pain. I'm sorry to hear that 5 soothing techniques in the The Happiest Baby on the Block didn't work. Thank goodness it worked to sooth Tazzy.

This is what the the first three weeks of Tazzy's life were like, crying nonstop.

This is what she is like now. Since we're being honest here, she's only this happy when she first wakes up in the morning and after naps. She is still a fussy baby in the evenings.

Anyway, the article is so well written and hits close to home for those parents who have experienced a colicky baby. Read it if you have time, and if you don't, I've pulled out some highlights here:

And colic crying isn’t like “I’m upset,” crying. It’s “emotionally disturbed” crying...By the time I’d get home from work most days, he looked like he’d just gotten back from Afghanistan.

Things were bad when our doctor used the word “try.” Doctors don’t say, “You might try amoxicillin for your infection.” They say, “Take these pills for ten days.” In our case, we knew “try” was code for, “We really don’t know what causes what you have or what to do about it. Good luck.”

After a while we realized that Christopher’s colic episodes weren’t consistently tied to eating, which made me lean toward the fourth trimester theory — and to The Happiest Baby on the Block, a hugely popular book which many people recommended to us. To pediatrician and author Harvey Karp — I would love to punch you in the groin. Happiest baby, my ass. It should be called Five Random Techniques That Might Work But Could Also Do Serious Physical Damage to the Parents...sure, your baby will stop crying if you wrap him like a mental patient in a straight jacket, rhythmically bouncing him in your arms while holding him like a martini shaker, and shushing him as loud as possible directly in his ear. Just see how long you can do that in the middle of the night without simultaneously tearing a rotator cuff and having a complete mental breakdown.

Most nights, after finally getting the baby to sleep, I’d retreat into our bedroom, and like the clichéd woman going through a bad breakup I’d devour pints of ice cream or sleeves of cookies. Sure, I could drink. But a hangover with colic — that’s like giving yourself colic.

Saturday
Jul312010

My World Flipped Upside Down

Amazing Baby Girl

My beautiful baby girl "Tazzy" was born on Saturday, July 17. At 7 pounds 15 oz, this little person has stolen my heart. Every time I look at her my heart just melts and I think to myself, "I am so fortunate to have given life to such an amazing and healthy baby." At some point, once things have calmed down for me I will share my birth story.

 

World Flipped Upside Down

At the same time as having feelings of elated joy, I'm also dealing with the feeling that my world has been flipped upside down, like someone has pulled the rug from under me and I haven't quiet landed on my feet. I'm sleep deprived, slowly recovering from an unplanned c-section and dealing with the demands of newborn care. During pregnancy my mantra was, "the first three months will be hell...an adjustment period." I was secretly hoping that if I had this expectation things would be much easier. I romanticized having this perfect baby who didn't cry much (okay, I know that's not realistic), who I could tote around with me and go on adventures starting as soon as we arrived home from the hospital. Well, I was wrong. It's been so much more challenging to say the least.


This photo is of Tazzy smiling in her sleep.

Is it Colic?

My baby girl is not just fussy but inconsolable. It seems like the only time she is content is when she is eating or sleeping. Any other time she is screaming... not crying but screaming. About one-fifth of all babies develop colic, usually between the second and fourth weeks, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Tazzy's pediatrician thinks it's too early to diagnose as colic and thinks that it might be a simple case of her not getting enough food per serving thus making her scream... sucking in air, which causes gas. We've increased her food and are hoping to see results by the end of the weekend. It's only been 24 hours and we're anxious to see if the doc was right. As far as we can tell, Tazzy has really bad gas! Poor baby.

What We've Tried

Rockabye Baby Music - Lullabye renditions of baby's favorite rock band. Imagine Sweet Child O'Mine or Don't Stop Believ'n made into a lullaby! So much easier on the ears than say Mary Had a Little Lamb or Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Maclaren Rocker - This chair vibrates and works wonders. Tazzy likes hanging out for 10 to 15 minutes at a time while awake and can sleep in there anywhere from 45 minutes to three hours.

Graco Swing - A friend let us borrow her Graco swing. I've heard kids love it or hate it. So far Tazzy is not a fan but maybe that will change.

Stroller and car rides - Tazzy loves motion and even more enjoys being in her car seat. Even when I feel too tired to move I force myself to take her on a walk as this seems to calm her down. Josh has put her in the car a few times when she went ballistic around 4 a.m.

Sleep Sheep - Sleep Sheep produces four soothing sounds from Mother’s calming heartbeat to the gentle sounds of nature. My favorite is the ocean. Tazzy doesn't seem fond of any of the sounds yet. This is more comforting to me than her right now.
 
Bouncing, walking, cuddling - She likes being held close to Mommy or Daddy's chest where she can snuggle and hear our heart beats. It's rather sweet. The worst part is putting her down for fear of waking her.

SwaddleMe Kiddopotomus - I highly recommend if you're into swaddling. These are much easier than using a receiving blanket. With the velcro, your baby can't break the swaddle! If you choose to use a receiving blanket I recommend the Aden and Anais Muslin Swaddling Wrap or SwaddleDesigns Receiving Blanket.

Mylicon and Gripe Water both help relieve gas. I feel like these are a hit or miss. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't.

I'd love to hear other things that people have tried to calm a fussy/gassy baby.